Best Album(s) You've Discovered This Year NOT Released This Year - 2020 Edition

Despite being a huge Holy Fuck fan, I’d never really checked out Brian Borcherdt’s more guitar based side project Dusted, and didn’t even know their second album Blackout Summer from 2018 existed. Turns out it’s great.

Got into Frankie and the Witch Fingers this year but much prefer last year’s album Zam to this year’s Monsters Eating People…

After the GYBE thread I listened A Silver Mt Zion for the first time, specifically their first album He Has Left Us Alone… and their most recent Fuck Off Get Free… which are both great in different ways. The former as a more stripped down GYBE and the latter as a far more accessible song based beast.

Maria W Horn
James Carr
Pascal Comelade
Doris Norton
Fatima Al Qadiri
Von Sudenfed
Dion’s Born to Be With You
Laurie Anderson

Ooh need to check these out. Aside from No Other I’ve only listened to one other Gene Clark, I forget which tbh, and it just seemed like nice but forgettable 70s singer songwriter stuff - didn’t quite have any magic.

They’re not psychedelic in the same way as No Other. White Light is just a great acoustic singer songwriter album -one of the greatest. The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard and Clark is the best country rock/pop album you’ve never heard, Roadmaster is a ‘great lost album’ - wonderful, sparkling 60s pop with touches of country and psychedelia and an album his label decided to release only in The Netherlands. Gene Clark is just a fantastic songwriter with one of my favourite voices.


Sound wonderful - thanks.

These were my top 20 picks complete with Rateyourmusic style genre definitions and the rating system with 0.25 increments that I adopted from back in the day when that website/blog existed turned me onto many an artist such as the aforementionned Do Make Say Think. It’s a bit sad but I keep a list going as the year progresses - partly to share with friends and partly as a good aide memoire to look back on…

  1. V/A - Virgin Frontline sounds of reality (9) (reggae)
  2. Gigi Masin - Wind (9) (electronica, ambient)
  3. The Promise Ring - Nothing Feels Good (8.75) (midwest-emo;indie-rock)
  4. Singers & players - War of Words (8.75) (dub reggage)
  5. The Clash - Sandinista (8.75) (punk-rock; new-wave post-punk)
  6. Belong - Common era (8.75) (Shoegaze, dreampop, post-punk)
  7. The Gloria Record - The Gloria Record EP (8.75) Midwest-emo)
  8. Pop Unknown - If arsenic fails, try algebra (8.75) (midwest-emo)
  9. The Get Up Kids -something to write home (8.75) (pop-punk, emo)
  10. Hoover - Lurid traversal of route 7 (8.75) (hardcore, punk, indie-rock)
  11. Lorelei - Everyone must touch the stove (8.75) (indie-rock; indie-pop)
  12. Supreme Jubilees - It’ll be all over (8.5) (gospel; soul)
  13. The Clash - Give them enough rope (8.5) (rock, punk-rock)
  14. JAMC - Psycho-candy (8.5) (indie-rock, noise-rock)
  15. Pop Unknown - Summer Season EP (8.5) (midwest-emo)
  16. Max Cooper - Yearning for the infinite (8.5) (electronica, downtempo, ambient)
  17. Preoccupations - Cassette (8.5) (indie-rock, post-punk)
  18. Evpatoria Report - Maar (8.5) (post-rock)
  19. Cocteau Twins & Harold Budd - Moon & Melodies (8.5) (dreampop, indie, ambient)
  20. Unwound - The Future of what (8.5) (post-hardcore; indie-rock)

A whole bunch of absolute 10/10 belters in that list, especially the Canadian ones! :grinning:


Some absolute belters there! It’s well worth doing a deep dive into Unwound.

For me, it’s Have A Nice Life - Deathconsciousness. An astoundingly long and bleak mix of shoegaze and post-punk, the proper opening track ‘Bloodhail’ and closer ‘Earthmover’ are both devastating.

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Lots of 90’s hip hop but my absolute favourites were…

Pete Rock & C.L Smooth - The Main Ingredient
Mobb Deep - The Infamous
Black Moon - Enta Da Stage

Also got into Neil Young ('69-79 era) in a big way. ‘After The Gold Rush’ & ‘Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere’ are basically perfect.

Chris & Cosey’s early 80’s stuff. ‘Songs Of Love & Lust’ is the one I’ve gone back to the most though.


I’ve bought a couple of the reissues that have come out this year and really liked them. Exotica is particularly great.



I’ll probably give the late 80’s stuff a listen in the new year. I absolutely love the mood of that ‘Heartbeat’ album too, it’s probably not as fully realised as ‘SOLAL’ but they just nail a vibe on it that carries it through its weaker moments.

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In terms of older stuff I’d never really heard before: lots of Cocteaus, lots of Elliott Smith (I know, I know). Lots of jazz classics too, courtesy of that ridiculous bargains thread.

The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms
Harold Budd - The Pavilion of a Dreams
Bright Eyes - Fevers & Mirrors, LIFTED, Digital Ash…

Otherwise had a quite nice rotation of my staples as well as lots of new stuff. Enjoyed this year a lot musically (everything else, not so much)

Thanks and will most definitely be checking that out based on your descriptive - sounds right up my street! Noted too to delve deeper with Unwound as that’s the only LP I am familiar with by them.

Wished Bone (thanks @rich-t)
Kaitlin Aurelia Smith (thanks @Epimer)
Sam Amidon (thanks @Acorn)
Salami Rose Joe Louis (thanks @manches)

And also really got into Andrew Bird for a bit after previously finding him very meh (thanks, that film I’ve forgotten I watched with DiS Film Club that he did the soundtrack to)


I’d forgotten I watched that film too. I liked tha’

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I’ve forgotten what the film is, just remember I enjoyed it and was left with a previously undeveloped want to listen to Andrew Bird.

There’s a track of theirs on this excellent compilation

Which comes from one their 90s albums and which is brilliant. I reckon that there is a lot to discover.

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24 Hour Revenge Therapy
Dear You

Paul Westerberg
14 Songs
Suicaine Gratification

Jason Molina
Songs: Ohia
The Lioness
Ghost Tropic
Didn’t It Rain
Magnolia Electric Co.


Crack Cloud
Crack Cloud


Static Age

Is This Real?
Over the Edge

Young Jesus
Grow / Decompose
The Whole Thing Is Just There

A Hairshirt of Purpose

Pere Ubu
The Modern Dance

For Your Own Special Sweetheart

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good album this, though weirdly i’ve never got around to Dub Housing. will attempt to finally check it out in 2021.


downloaded the first Tal National album Kaani in the FatCat sale the other day. wasn’t familiar with them before but liked the artwork. v good afrobeat stuff.